Born ca. 1747, Joseph Thomas died in Chatham County NC prior to the inventory and sale of his estate dated 3 Dec 1819. We have learned much about Joseph’s family from land grants, conveyances, court entries, and the names of those who purchased from his estate. But, do such records capture the entire family as indicated in so many online genealogies? And what ever happened to Joseph’s children Micajah, Catherine and William who we know so little about? I’ve been assured that the early generations of Joseph’s descendants all remained in the area of Moore and Chatham Counties NC, but, is that the truth? I’ve also come to believe otherwise and new research will begin to bridge family gaps extending well beyond the state of North Carolina.
About Micajah Thomas, he appears in numerous land records in Wake before buying and selling land among family prior to receiving a land grant in Moore County. By 1805 it appears he disappears from record other than his listing in the 1810 Moore County Census. And after that point his whereabouts appears to be unknown. Beyond Micajah, what do we know of Joseph’s children William and Catherine?
From Joseph Thomas’ 1819 estate sale listed in part below, both William and Catherine are listed as purchasers. And with that bit of information, I decided to trace available records for neighbors and others listed in the last and important Thomas family document.
From the above estate sale you’ll see Catherine and William Thomas buying alongside a person named Micajah Baggett who was likely born in Wayne County NC. And in the 1820 Moore County census, Micajah Baggett is enumerated among the families of John, Joseph and Frederick Thomas. By 1830, he is still enumerated (in yellow below) in Moore County alongside Wm Thomas, John Thomas, Martin Thomas, Frederick Thomas and Capt John Thomas. Other neighbors include John Shephard, Wm Womack and Wm Yarborough.
Believing the name Micajah Baggett to be uniquely different and therefor easy to locate, it didn’t take long to discover the next move. In 1840, young William Thomas is enumerated in Marion County Georgia next to William Wommack. Also living in Marion County are Micajah Baggett, John Shephard, and Andrew M Shephard.
Apparently Micajah Baggett and Joseph Thomas’ daughter Catherine met and married in either Moore or Chatham County NC around 1820. John Shephard above is likely the son of Andrew Shephard who sold land in Moore County to Philip Johnston who then sold it to Joseph Thomas. And remember that Voluntine Braswell’s tract on Bush Creek in Chatham County passed through the hands of John Shephard before being owned by the Thomas family and later Ishmael Roberts.
In Marion County GA, the 1842 last will and testament of John Sheppard names daughter Mary Thomas. In 1850, the 65 year-old Mary Thomas is enumerated in Buena Vista, Marion County in the home of Osborne and Mary Blair. Mary Blair is Mary Thomas’s daughter. The 1850 Marion County census also enumerates 54 year-old William B Thomas with wife Sarah and children Moore, Asa, John, and Laurel. In 1854, Chattahoochee County was created from western Marion and it’s there where Wm. Thomas and M. Baggett are found:
It seems the Thomas family in Marion and Chattahoochee Counties begin to disappear in the 1850’s and beyond. What happened to William Thomas’ children?
Going back to the first probate record (on page one) found in the earliest Marion County record online it the estate of Henry Thomas. Please take a look below and notice who purchased from his estate and likewise who did not:
This post is pretty mangled and for that I apologize. However, in the roundabout way, it’s clear that at least two of Joseph’s children moved to Georgia. And for our THOMAS family Facebook Usergroup, an important challenge lies in connecting several lines in Alabama linked presently by DNA only. One of the families is that of Henry J. Thomas who died in Elmore County Alabama. Henry’s father is Andrew Thomas who married the widow Jane Wood Daily in 1854. The young family appears in 1860 Montgomery County as:
Born 1822 in North Carolina, Andrew Thomas’ given name is a clue I’ve thought would eventually reveal his story. Is it possible Andrew is the son of William in Marion County? And, of all the luck, who is Henry Thomas who died in early Marion County? And, note that one of the buyers of the estate happens to be Micajah Bagget, husband of Joseph Thomas’ daughter Catherine! Could Henry be a member of our family? And, what do you see in the name Andrew? Andrew Shepherd was a large figure in the area along the early Chatham/Moore County line. If his son’s daughter Mary married into the family of Joseph Thomas, would it not make sense for them to have a son Andrew Thomas? The age is right and just maybe Andrew Thomas in Montgomery County Alabama is the son of Henry. And did Henry marry Mary Shephard?
There’s still very much to learn if we are so blessed. Someone with better ties to Marion County GA needs to plow ground there in hopes of further connecting the dots. Note that John Shephard is interred at County Line Primitive Baptist Cemetery, Marion County GA.